What is the Sam Switch to Hubbard Wind Transmission Project?
Lone Star Transmission, LLC (Lone Star) is proposing to build, own, and operate a new, approximately 15.3-mile-long 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will connect the new Hubbard Wind Energy Center to the electric grid.* The new transmission line will be constructed between Lone Star’s Sam Switch Station, which is located along Hill County Road 3165, and the Hubbard Wind Energy Center Collector Station to be located just west of Mount Calm along State Highway 31.
* The Hubbard Wind Energy Center is also sometimes referred to as the “Aquilla Lake Wind Project”.
Does Lone Star need approval to construct this project?
Yes. Lone Star will seek approval of this project from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).
What is the process for obtaining the PUCT’s approval?
Lone Star will file a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) application with the PUCT that will address compliance with all regulatory requirements, including: the purpose and need for the project; details on costs associated with the engineering, right of way acquisition, and construction of the project; and the public involvement process including information about how all easements needed for this project have been secured, as well as how additional input from landowners and other stakeholders regarding the proposed transmission line route was taken into consideration. In addition, the application will outline Lone Star’s experience and capabilities owning, operating, and maintaining reliable transmission facilities in Texas. Lone Star will also include an analysis and environmental site assessment of the route proposed for the new transmission line.
Has Lone Star considered environmental impacts from the Sam Switch to Hubbard Wind Project?
Yes. Impacts to environmentally sensitive areas were considered when determining the new transmission line’s location between Sam Switch Station and the Hubbard Wind Collector Station, and are also being considered in the environmental assessment that Lone Star is conducting and will file with the PUCT. Additionally, the transmission line route was developed in coordination with landowners whose property will be crossed by the new line in order to avoid environmentally sensitive areas as much as possible. Potential impacts will continue to be considered and reviewed during the CCN approval process.
Will new right of way be required?
Yes, the new transmission line will require new rights of way between the Hubbard Wind Collector Station to the point where the new transmission line will meet Lone Star’s existing transmission line along Hill County Road 3165. Hubbard Wind has been working with landowners crossed by the proposed transmission line to obtain all of the new easements needed between these two points.
(As the new transmission line exits the Sam Switch Station, it will be located on Lone Star’s existing transmission structures until the new line’s proposed route turns south to head to the Hubbard Wind Collector Station at the point described above.)
What happens after the PUCT selects the transmission line’s route and approves the project?
After the PUCT issues a final order, Lone Star will notify all affected landowners by mail to inform them of the PUCT’s decision. Hubbard Wind, LLC will transfer all of the easements for the new line to Lone Star, and Lone Star will let landowners know when construction activities will begin.
When will construction begin?
Lone Star will complete pre-construction activities such as surveying, soils testing, and obtaining other necessary permits while the project is being reviewed by the PUCT. Information gathered from these activities will be incorporated into the final design and construction plans. If the PUCT approves the project, then Lone Star will finalize its construction plans, obtain any other required permits, notify landowners, and then construction will begin.
What permits will be required to build the project?
The project will require permits and regulatory approvals from various state and local agencies including the Texas Department of Transportation and Hill County Road Department.
When will the project be completed and operational?
The project target in service date is November 2021.